JMARIES51's SparkPeople Blog JMARIES51's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Off for the Weekend <img src=""> <BR> So excited to be taking a long weekend in Vancouver, BC. I haven't been there for years and it is one of my favorite places in the world. <BR> <BR> I am taking my lessons with me and hopefully will not go <img src=""> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:27:41 EST Day 30 Postpone Eating Today's exercise is to postpone eating and also minimize amount. <BR> The way that I understand this idea is that when you feel a craving come one, try to postpone it by doing something else, drink some water, go for a walk, etc. This can sometimes help the craving to pass. <BR> <BR> The other part of the exercise is about postponing eating the bread or chips and salsa that come to the table before your meal to snack on before your meal arrives. If you can postpone eating these things an... Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:48:28 EST Day 29 Handheld Foods <img src=""> <BR> OK, I think I should have just skipped over today's exercise. Well, at least I know the area that I need to really focus on. From now on I think I need to not eat handheld foods. <BR> The exercise was to measure out a snack item and put it on the plate - sit down and eat the item with a fork and spoon and notice how it feels to eat the snack this way. <BR> <BR> I chose peanut butter and crackers. I measure out 2 ... Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:44:20 EST Day 28 Eating Because It's There I don't eat food because it's there. The is the exercise for today. It is about learning to ignore food that comes into your vicinity and then eating it just because it is visible. I think for me one of the times when this might happen is when an advertisement comes on the TV and it triggers a response of... Oh I would sure like a hamburger about now. <BR> <BR> This used to be a problem for me in my past. And I have learned to ignore ads on the TV. Mostly I just don't watch as much TV ... Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:20:19 EST Day 27 Eat Dessert When it is Special <img src=""> This is an easy exercise for me. Write a list of desserts that are special to me, include a description of these desserts, and when I would eat them. <BR> <img src=""> This is my idea of a special dessert. It would include a cake with a smooth creamy filling and would be full of chocolate. I would like it to be not too sweet, and very fresh. The times I would eat ... Sun, 14 Sep 2014 13:57:16 EST Day 26 When Food Disappoints You Here is another lesson and exercise that was very profound for me the first time I did it. I could never imagine a chocolate cake that I didn't like. Now anytime I come across a food that is really not that tasty, I still think about whether it is worth the calories or not. I think now days I have a lot more discernment about what I really want to eat. This doesn't mean that it isn't a struggle. It is just a lot less of a struggle than it was in the past. If - say for instance- a crack... Sat, 13 Sep 2014 16:46:14 EST Day 25 Eat Smaller Amounts, less often I remember the first time I went through the 100 days and came across this idea of eat smaller amounts less often. What the plan is - is to include the foods you love into your eating plan, but just eat a smaller amount of it and not very often. <BR> <BR> My immediate reaction was - this will never work for me. I even felt that way this morning when I saw this exercise pop up. However, I am committed to enjoying this 100 days and view it as fun and not deprivation. So I got to thinking... Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:12:57 EST Day 24 Eating for Satisfaction <img src=""> <BR> So today's exercise is to eat one thing today with the intention of being totally fulfilled by this food. <BR> I am really careful to choose filling and fulfilling foods for breakfast. I always want to start my day with a meal that is going to be both nutritionally and emotionally satisfying. <BR> For breakfast today I had a piece of whole wheat bread, low fat Greek yogurt, 1/4 avocado, and a tomato. I cut this into ... Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:41:17 EST Day 23 Savoring My exercise for today was to savor a bite of something that I am eating. The suggestion is to eat chocolate, but I don't have any in the house and I don't want to buy any, so I am going to use a small slice of bread with jam. <BR> <BR> I love the yeasty smell of the bread and the contrast of the sweetness of the strawberry jam. It reminds me of the fair scones that I love so much. The texture of the bread is a little tough, not soft - but a chewy French bread. It is something that I coul... Wed, 10 Sep 2014 17:18:47 EST Day 22 Multitask With Food <img src=""> <BR> I knew that today's exercise would be easy because this is how I live my life. Generally I do not sit at the table and just eat my meal in silence. <BR> <BR> So the exercise is to eat my meal and with lots of distractions and to observe. I ate my breakfast with the news on the TV, while reading my email and carrying on a conversation with my honey. I know that I ate a piece of toast with jam, yogurt, and drank a c... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 12:43:42 EST Day 21 - Eat With Awareness <img src=""> <BR> Today's exercise is one that I know I need more practice with. It is to sit down at the table, eat a meal without distractions, and then observe. <BR> <BR> So in the tradition of making this exercise fun and enjoyable, I made a beautiful Israeli salad full of my favorite veggies. I set the table with a nice place mat, filled a tall glass with water, and included a half a pita and some tahini with the meal. This is my... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 15:59:41 EST Taking a Day of Rest Today <img src=""> <BR> How does a person who is retired and on their own schedule take a day of relaxation? I started thinking about how funny that sounds. Lately all I pretty much do is whatever I want to do. <BR> <BR> I guess what I mean is that I am not going to clean the house, cook any big meals, take a day off from the 100 days of weight loss blogging, and I will probably just read all day long. <BR> <BR> Hope you all have a wo... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 11:45:46 EST Day 20 - Half-off Special <img src=""> For today's exercise I am to divide at least 5 foods in half and eat only half, then describe in my journal how I feel about this. This is a great exercise for me because just like the exercise of taking a bite of something and leaving the rest, it is difficult for me to eat less than I am planning on. <BR> <BR> The one positive thing from doing this exercise in the past is that I learned that when I do go out to eat in ... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 11:32:20 EST Day 19 Eat Reasonable Amounts <img src=""> <BR> Portion distortion is my biggest downfall. If I don't measure and weigh out my foods I will gradually let the portions grow in size. <BR> <BR> On the other hand, when I am being very conscientious about my food intake and don't measure, I will under estimate the amount I am allowed. So for me it just works better to constantly be measuring. I am sure one day I will be able to closely get the right portion size with... Fri, 5 Sep 2014 12:31:23 EST Day 18 - Retrain Eating Habits <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> As I am working through these exercises from 100 days of weight loss, I can't get over how much work I have done on my eating habits. This exercise of retrain your eating habits showed me that things that I struggled with a few years ago are really not a struggle anymore. <BR> <BR> So I got to thinking about why have I not lost all the weight that ... Thu, 4 Sep 2014 11:34:35 EST Day 17 Stop Wasting Food <img src=""> This is a huge topic for me. My parents never talked about the starving children in other countries, but they were children of the depression and they never wasted anything. So wasting food is a huge issue for me. It wasn't until I read Linda's book the first time that I realized that eating the food is also wasting it, but in a way that is detrimental for my own health. <BR> <img src=" Wed, 3 Sep 2014 13:44:07 EST Day 16 Nurturing Power of Food <img src=""> <BR> For today's exercise I chose cheese and crackers. After 2 bites I am to remember that my needs have been met and to write about this experience. <BR> <BR> Since yesterday's experience was so positive, I went into today's exercise with the same amount of enthusiasm. I really want to know that these first 2 bites are all I need especially for the emotional experience of the food. <BR> <BR> What I am noticing today is... Tue, 2 Sep 2014 12:24:03 EST Day 15 Eat 2 Bites <img src=""> The first time that I attempted the eat 2 bites exercise, I was very resistant. I had set in my mind the thought that I could not eat only 2 bites and then throw the food away. <BR> <BR> That was many years ago, and I can thankfully say that now days I am able to take 2 bites and be satisfied with it. I have given up the struggle to fee like food is the enemy. That doesn't mean that I never have times of out of contr... Mon, 1 Sep 2014 14:24:35 EST Day 14 Morning Affects Evening A few years ago I realized that I have to eat a good breakfast with lots of protein in order to not be ravenously hungry in the afternoon. It also seems to stop the cravings that I get after dinner. What I try to do now days is to find ways to get protein that is both filling and not too high in calories. Greek yogurt is a huge mainstay for me. Also I like to have Greek yogurt cheese which is kind of like a cream cheese consistency but made from Greek yogurt. <BR> <BR> In the afternoon... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:53:55 EST Day 13, oops I forgot to eat <img src="">This used to be my life just a few months ago. Wow, just looking at the picture brings back that feeling of stress. <BR> So today is about taking time to eat on regular intervals. Since I have retired this is not a problem. The only time I have forgotten to eat was when I was enjoying my painting so much that time just flew by and I hadn't noticed I didn't eat. <BR> <BR> Now my life is <img src="http://photos-ak.spar... Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:43:40 EST Day 12 - Fuel or Filler <img src=""> <BR> I love this exercise. Since I chart my food everyday (when I am really being serious about losing weight) - I tend to be much more selective about the foods that I eat. When I know I am limited to a certain amount of calories per day, I want each calorie to count. I want it to have great nutritional value, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and also soothe my emotional desire for eating - which is different than my emotional ... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:39:42 EST My Ah Ha Moment this Morning It has been 10 days now that I have gotten myself back on track. My food choices have been more nourishing, I am drinking water regularly, and slowly adding to my exercise minutes. Today I feel that my energy level is higher. I feel more motivated to stick with healthy choices, and I have an overall higher level of self confidence. I don't know why this always surprises me that by just changing a few things around can make profound changes in the way I feel. <BR> <BR> What my Ah Ha <e... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:42:20 EST Day 11 - 2 Purposes of Food - update for the day 8/28 I am working through the 100 days of Weight Loss - and today is about the 2 purposes of Food. They are: <BR> 1. To fuel your body <BR> 2. To appreciate flavors <BR> <BR> Today our assignment is to write down everything I eat with the time of the day and then count up the number of times I took in fuel. The plan is to take fuel stops every 3 or 4 hours and to notice if taking regular fuel stops improve my energy and focus. <BR> <BR> So I will come back at the end of the day and report on t... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:18:53 EST Day 10 Appreciate Good Support <img src=""> Good support is crucial for success no matter what you are trying to accomplish. With weight loss it is important to find out what works for you and what doesn't. And I think it is important to be open to try new ways of giving and receiving support. <BR> <BR> One of the best ways I support myself is that when I am feeling discouraged I come to Sparkpeople and just start randomly reading blogs. Everybody has a time wh... Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:19:16 EST Day 9 - Here's what I want <img src=""> <BR> I know from experience that I am not an easy person to support. I don't like to have attention drawn to me, I don't enjoy being in the limelight. But I do like it when after I have put in a lot of hard work, that I get a nice smile or a quiet compliment. Anyway, I think that support is something that I am learning to embrace. <BR> <BR> So answering the questions for Day 9: <BR> 1. If you see me eating something tha... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:32:08 EST Day 8 Help Me Please..... <img src=""> I feel like the most blessed person because I have friends, family, pets, and Sparkfriends that are great supporters. <BR> <BR> It wasn't always this way in my life. The last time I worked through the 100 days of weight loss program I realized that the person I live with was also my biggest saboteur. One day when I was training for my 5K - he was wanting me to cut it short and go home. I had a complete breakdown, starte... Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:22:46 EST Day 8 - I can do it <img src=""> <BR> Today I am on day 8 of 100 days of weight loss. <BR> I can do it because: <BR> 1. I have done this before and succeeded and I know in my heart I can do it again. <BR> <BR> I can do it because: <BR> 2. I trained to run a 5K - actually 3 times in my life - and it was something that I didn't think I could ever do. Once you do it one time, you get confidence that lets you know that you could do anything if you put your m... Sun, 24 Aug 2014 11:30:49 EST 100 days of Weight Loss <img src=""> <BR> 100 days of Weight Loss - <BR> <BR> Day 1 - I used to be that way, but now I .... <BR> <BR> I used to give up on my plans to keep myself healthy and exercise, eating the right foods, journaling. I would just give up altogether. I would slowly let old habits slip into my lifestyle after making healthy changes. - I used to give up on my healthy lifestyle changes but now I recognize when my ship is steering off cou... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 15:25:04 EST Great Way to Burn Calories <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> On Saturday we went to the zoo. I haven't been there for maybe 15 years or so. I was very impressed with how nice the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma has created a nice living environment for the animals. And we walked over 3 miles, so it was good for the humans, too. Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:49:08 EST Beautiful Summer <img src=""> Last week I babysat my Granddaughter for the week. Whew, I really felt like I was out of shape. 3 year olds have an incredible amount of energy and then they sleep and renew. <BR> <BR> This summer we are taking 2 walks everyday - 1 in AM and 1 in PM. This amounts to about 3 to 4 miles of walking a day, which is probably not a lot by most standards. I am happy that we are keeping up with this because if I didn't do thi... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:48:11 EST Monday Morning Inspiration <img src=""> <BR> Today I will live my life with a little more Spark - and know that life is full of endless possibilities. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:36:58 EST Getting Back On Track <img src=""> <BR> I haven't been very active on Spark for the past couple of months and today I decided that I need to step on the scale and take a reality check. I am up 4 pounds and I know that if I don't do anything about this now, it will be another 2 months to pass and another 4 pounds heavier. <BR> <BR> So today I am going to start tracking my food again. I am going to put a few more steps on my Fitbit everyday. I am going to d... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:55:49 EST Our Walk Tonight <link><BR>list=UUSHtJNHeHxPG_1q0-rGQbjw&feature=<BR>share </link> We have a lot of birds that gather in the evening at the bottom of the hill that we live on. They seem to harbor where Olney Creek spills into the Puget Sound. The video was shot tonight at sunset. The pictures below we took from our deck - which is the awesome view we see everyday. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.... Sun, 8 Jun 2014 02:55:28 EST June - Sunshine and Flowers and Feeling Good <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have been working on my garden a lot lately and the sunshine and the beauty of nature really makes me feel good. Nothing profound to say today, just wanted to share this wonderful feeling. Mon, 2 Jun 2014 10:03:58 EST Happy Mother's Day <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day. I know the sunset might seem like a strange picture to pick for this day, but I love sunsets. And since this is my day (being a Mom X3, I figured I should post something that makes me feel good. Go out and do something that makes you feel good today. <link> </link> Sun, 11 May 2014 13:01:52 EST May Day, the fogotten Holiday (at least here in the US) <img src=""> <img src="">When I was very young, May Day used to be a very special holiday. Usually at school we would make these baskets out of paper by weaving strips of paper together, or by making a cone. Then in the evening, just about at sunset, we would pick flowers (sometimes stealing beautiful flowers out of our neighbors gardens) and put the baskets on our neighbors front po... Thu, 1 May 2014 09:37:13 EST My Daily Walk with the Dogs I was going to write a blog yesterday about our walks with the dogs, but got carried away with adding it to our YouTube channel. So here it is. It is from yesterday in Port Orchard, WA. <BR> <link> </link> <BR> We take the same walk everyday because we can let the dogs off leash and not run into any other people or animals. Sometimes we are lucky enough to see special birds. This woodpecker has been pecking away for a couple weeks. Finally I spotted it up in the tr... Tue, 29 Apr 2014 22:29:54 EST Morning Inspiration <img src="">I love to surf the web in the morning to find little sayings and quotes that inspire me to have a good day. <BR> <BR> I was thinking about how important it is to nourish the soul, the mind and the body with good thoughts, great exercise, and healthy food. It really is true that all the choices we make during the day create our life. This morning I thought about what I could eat that would nourish my body, mind and soul -... Sat, 26 Apr 2014 13:33:20 EST Morning Solitude <img src="">Starting the day with meditation and a good cup of coffee. <BR> <BR> <img src="">Thoughts that make my heart smile. <BR> <BR> <img src="">My mantra for today. <BR> <BR> <img src="">Something for the funny bone. <BR> <BR> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 11:33:11 EST Jules, This One is for YOU! "LIFECHANGZ wonders if plucking naval fuzz is more fun with friends? Come share the Spark & Be Sparked! " <link><BR>FECHANGZ </link> <BR> <BR> For the past few weeks I have been getting used to my new schedule as a retired person. Wow, I really didn't think about much work retirement would be. <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> It is amazing that after working outside of my home for 50 years I thought that I was ready to spend some time doing nothing and lovi... Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:11:01 EST COMING TO THE END OF LOVING MYSELF MONTH This morning I woke up ready to see what results I have for this month. The first thing I thought of was stepping on the scale to see how my weight had changed. It is exactly the same as it was at the beginning of the month. I won't lie to you, I was a little upset with myself. So then I started thinking -- why is this the one thing that I let be the measure of my progress for my life? After all haven't I just spent a whole month focusing on what it means to love myself? <img src="http:/... Sun, 30 Mar 2014 12:37:34 EST RETIREMENT - DAY 1 This is the day I have been waiting for - for so many years. <em>249</em> of the rest of my life. Wow, I don't think that I have ever quite felt the enormity of an event in quite the same way as this. First of all, it was my total choice to stop working. Nobody told me I had to do this. And second of all, I really have no plans for my future. Of course I have thought a lot about what I would like to do during my retirement. Everything centers around being healthy, in good shape, and... Thu, 27 Mar 2014 19:17:43 EST What is Self Love? This month I am focusing on loving myself. It has been quite enlightening and very inspirational. There are some wonderful websites that have great ideas about how to learn to love yourself. <link> </link> This is just one example. It gives 24 tips or steps to self love. <BR> <BR> But besides the "doing" steps I have been trying to find what my "feeling" of self love is. <BR> <img src=""> This is the ... Tue, 11 Mar 2014 11:11:23 EST Loving Myself <img src=""> <BR> I have loved this quote for a very long time and it was always the motto that I tried to live up to for myself. However, I am just beginning to understand how my work life has been a compromise for loving myself for many years. <BR> <BR> For years I have worked in a job that I do not enjoy. I did it because it paid well, it gave me good benefits, it allowed me health insurance - which was something I couldn't live wi... Wed, 5 Mar 2014 11:16:38 EST MARCH GOAL - AND THERE IS ONLY 1 This month of March I am working on only 1 goal. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 2 Mar 2014 22:30:25 EST What Else Can I do to have a Healthy Heart? <img src=""> There are so many choices a person has to make to keep their heart healthy. Exercise and eating a good diet are just 2 key factors to keeping your heart healthy. But what about the other variables that are a bit more complicated to control? <BR> Lately my work has been changing a lot. The technological changes are beyond my expertise. The procedural changes are so complicated, I have to spend part of the day taking cour... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 12:59:46 EST Healthy Heart Month Drawing to a Close In honor of February and emphasizing heart health, I have been reading about all facets of a healthy heart. It isn't that I have learned anything profound, but I thought it might help me to stay focused on the important reasons to eat healthy and exercise. <img src=""> My family has a propensity for heart disease and diabetes, so this is a huge motivation for me to keep myself on a healthy road. <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 12:24:41 EST Tending to My Heart Here we are half way through February. It has been a pretty difficult month for me. When February started I was all gung ho on sticking with my good eating plans, exercising everyday, and making the month of the heart, the healthiest month of my life. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> But as life has its own plans of what is going to happen, this month I lost 3 very dear people in my life - 2 to cancer and 1 to Alzheimer's. My brother ha... Sat, 15 Feb 2014 12:41:04 EST Memories Live in the Heart “It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought o... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:02:43 EST Quote of Inspiration about the Heart <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Robert Louis Stevenson <BR> Every heart that has beat strong and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind. <BR> ----------------------------------------<BR>---------------------------------------- <BR> <BR> <BR> Washington Irving <BR> A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles. <BR> -----------------... Tue, 4 Feb 2014 09:56:10 EST